Sex-Selection Ban Sponsor Still Hopes to Stop Race-Based Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2012   |   3:21PM   |   Washington, DC

Before the House voted on the bill to ban sex-selection abortions, the sponsor of the measure removed a portion of the bill that would ban abortions based on race — for example if a mother decided to have an abortion of a baby who is black.

When the ban was removed the race-based abortion ban was removed from the bill, some black pro-life advocates were disappointed and felt they had been let down in their fight to stop how abortion frequently targets African-Americans. However, in an interview, bill sponsor Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, says he is fully dedicated to banning race-based abortions and dropped the language from the bill in order to focus on the sex-selection ban after pro-abortion members of the Congressional Black Caucus distorted the language and intent of the racial component.

Franks said Republican leaders chose to remove race-based abortions from the bill because they did not want to give the bill’s opponents an opportunity to distort the issue.

“The left wing in the House wanted to make the race [issue] completely something else than it was,” Franks said. “I strongly continue to favor having both race and sex selection in a bill like this. I think that to take the life of a baby because it is a girl instead of a boy or taking the life of a baby because it is an African-American baby instead of a white child, those are all equally horrifying and I think both should be in it. But, we were, again, because of the absolute distortion on the part of some of the most liberal elements of the House, leadership was reticent to allow them the opportunity to demagogue the issue.”

“In part, it’s so that the really left wing pro-abortion groups cannot demagogue the issue and make it something else than it really is. This is a simple, straightforward bill. It says that you cannot discriminate against an unborn child, subjecting them to an abortion based upon their sex,” he said.

The bill was originally called the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act but pro-abortion members of the CBC expressed outrage that it would be named after the black civil rights leader.

“It is offensive that the sponsors of this bill would invoke the names of two of our nation’s historic civil rights pioneers,” said Congressman John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, grumbled.

Franks told the Post in response, “I believe it is a civil rights issue. First of all, the right to live is the first civil right, without that one, you have no civil rights.”

LifeNews Note: This article has been revised to make it more clear that Franks did not personally remove the race-based ban from the bill.